John Oller Litigation Update — 19 Jul 2013

In yesterday’s Mid 2013 Report on the status of The Controversy between evolution and creationism, we said:

We’ve never been able to learn what happened with John Oller’s litigation against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he is (or was when the suit was filed) a professor. See Louisiana Creationist Professor Sues University. That wasn’t a case the Discoveroids supported; Oller was too hard-core for them. But he had other supporters — see Ken Ham Supports John Oller’s Lawsuit.

In case you’ve forgotten, Oller filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the university’s Communicative Disorders Department alleging that faculty members discriminated against him and marginalized his position because of his beliefs on creationism and also because he taught about an alleged connection between autism, mercury and vaccinations. Here’s a link to the complaint he filed — it’s a 27-page pdf file.

Essentially he alleged it was a “viewpoint discrimination” case, not only because of his creationism, but also because he’s an anti-vaxxer. Oh, to demonstrate his creationist credentials, our original post about his case also gives links to some articles he’s written for ICR and AIG.

After the suit was filed, we posted a couple of other times about it — he had some letter-to-the-editor support, and WorldNetDaily supported him — but then we could never find any news about the actual litigation. That’s why, in yesterday’s post we also said:

His case may have been settled by now, one way or another. If anyone knows anything about it, please let us know

In answer to our call, one of our clandestine operatives told us about this link to the docket of court pleadings in Oller v. Roussel et al. Most of the pleadings require a subscription, but you can see the answer. It’s not terribly informative (the university denies all liability). And then we learned of a link to an updated docket: Oller v. Roussel et al. Again, most pleadings can’t be seen, but item number 30 can be viewed, and it indicates that a jury trial is scheduled to start on 21 Jan 2014.

Now that we know the case is still pending, we anticipate that we’ll be learning more about it. Meanwhile, thanks to our tireless operative, we’ve learned some more information about Professor Oller. It doesn’t come from the press, or from the university he’s suing. To our surprise, the news is from Trinity Southwest University, a bible college located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Their website reveals this thrilling news: Dr. John W. Oller, Jr., Vis. Prof. He’s described as “Vis. Prof., College of Biblical Representational Research,” and then it gives his résumé. But what’s the “College of Biblical Representational Research”? They provide this link to a description: College of Biblical Representational Research. It says:

We can confidently describe the Bible as a reliable history, the source of doctrine, and as instructions about how to be saved and lead the Christian life. But this Bible is under attack from within Christianity. Representational Research meets those challenges and demonstrates how the Bible is first of all a representation of the mind of God, and also a completely accurate representation of all of reality.

They also say that they help their students answer this question:

How can I challenge and refine my own personal representations of reality, using the Bible only as my guide?

It sounds like a great institution, and Oller seems to have gone to the right place. Anyway, it looks like he’s going to be in New Mexico for a while, and his litigation is still pending in Louisiana. We assume he can handle everything that’s going on in both places.

This is great news for us. Now that the Coppedge case is over, we can write about Oller. But one mystery remains: Oller is suing over viewpoint discrimination, and that’s a big issue with the Discovery Institute — so if they’re true to their principles, why don’t the Discoveroids support him? Maybe they will, who knows? As soon as we learn anything we’ll tell you about it, so stay tuned to this blog.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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5 responses to “John Oller Litigation Update — 19 Jul 2013

  1. Curiouser and curiouser. Oller is a chapter author in the DI book “Biological Information: New Perspectives” which Springer refused to publish, but is still due for publication by World Scientific next month; all downloadable at http://www.worldscientific.com/action/doSearch?searchType=normal&searchText=biological+information&publicationFilterSearch=all This is an account of “a symposium held at Cornell” in 2011 (translation: they hired a hall there, and invited their friends)

    For my own take on that volume, see http://wp.me/p21T1L-76 .I have been using my position as a World Scientific author to try to get them to drop it, but it’s probably too late for that now. For Nick Matzke’s account of the book and its history, see http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2012/02/springer-gets-s.html and http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2013/07/for-creationist.html#more

  2. Curm,
    Thanks for the update on the suffering martyr Roller.

    Paul,
    Your links are fascinating.

    How many YECs total are there in the authors of the “Biological Information” book? Oller, Nelson, Andy McIntosh of AIG…

  3. excellent question. But an even better question is, how many believe in the separate creation of the first human breeding pair? Dembski, for instance, is not YEC but believes that the Fall retroactively caused T rex to be carnivorous.

    I’ll be working on it.

  4. retiredsciguy

    Paul Braterman notes, “Dembski, for instance, is not YEC but believes that the Fall retroactively caused T rex to be carnivorous.”

    Seriously? Boy, oh boy, that must be some convoluted logic! I wonder how Dembski explains how teeth suitable for a plant-eater suddenly transformed to the carnivorous daggers on all those already-fossilized T. Rexes?

    Or is Dembski proposing that T. Rex always had those dagger teeth, even when attempting to eat plants? Must have been some really skinny T. Rexes back then. T. Anorexic, perhaps?

  5. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    said Sensuously …

    “But one mystery remains: Oller is suing over viewpoint discrimination, and that’s a big issue with the Discovery Institute — so if they’re true to their principles, why don’t the Discoveroids support him? Maybe they will, who knows?”

    OLLER OLLER OXEN FREE !!!